The long overdue honoring of the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse program’s history will continue this upcoming season as another jersey will be raised to the rafters of the JMA Wireless Dome.
Syracuse legend Paul Gait will have his No. 19 jersey retired, the third SU men’s lacrosse jersey to be honored alongside his brother Gary Gait and Mike Powell. Paul will become the first non-22 jersey for the men to reach the top of the Dome.
In what is sure to be a very emotional day for the entire Gait family, the retirement will take place at a special ceremony on Saturday, April 20, 2024 inside the JMA Dome as the Orange host Virginia for the regular season finale.
Due to his incredible combination of skill, athleticism, and creativity, Paul Gait is truly one of the greatest and most influential players to ever play the game. Helping to revolutionize the way offensive lacrosse was played when he arrived at SU in the late 80’s alongside his brother, Paul was one of the most important figures in the Orange dynasty that won three straight NCAA Division I National Championships from 1988-1990.
A member of both the USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2005) and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2014), among many others, Paul was a three-time First Team All-American at ‘Cuse, the 1989 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, and a member of the NCAA’s 25th Anniversary Team.
One of the most prolific midfield scorers in history, Paul is a member of an extremely exclusive club for the Orange. He is one of only 17 players in program history to finish his career with more than 200 points. His 212 points rank him 15th in the ‘Cuse record books with 127 goals and 85 assists. He was remarkably consistent across his final three seasons, finishing each campaign with 66, 67, and 65 points, respectively. And lest you think he was all about the points, Paul also ranks 10th in program history in ground balls with 237 for his career; a true all-around lacrosse player.
Unsurprisingly, he is also one of the Orange’s greatest postseason players ever, ranking in the top-10 of all three major offensive categories. His 45 career NCAA Tournament points tie him for sixth all-time in program history, while his 27 goals rank him fifth and his 18 assists place him ninth.
He helped lead the Orange to an almost-unthinkable 51-5 record over the course of his four years on the Hill, including going 42-1 over his final three seasons with perfect campaigns in 1988 (15-0) and 1990 (13-0).
Congratulations to Paul on another wonderful accolade in his legendary career. I can’t wait to see the No. 19 where it belongs at the top of the Dome later this spring.